Upset Saturday took care of half the unbeaten teams. In BCS terms, Bowling Green doesn't count, so it's down to three teams for the national championship: Oklahoma, Miami and Ohio State. Or is it? In the history of the BCS, there have never been three major unbeatens, and I would bet against even two unbeatens this year. Which could put us into the awkward situation we've had the past two years of one unbeaten team and a gaggle of once-beaten teams. If, for example, Miami stays unbeaten, Ohio gags on Meechigan and Oklahoma loses in the Big 12 championship game, who plays Miami? Oklahoma would have a strong argument, but the last two years we've had controversy with a team losing late and still being in the championship game. Or, how about Miami and the Buckeyes losing; should we have a Texas-Oklahoma rematch? One reason to be thankful for the BCS: at least Notre Dame has to play by the same rules as everybody else, instead of being placed in the top two because they get good tv ratings.Oklahoma at #1 is not going to stir much controversy. And you can't argue with the computer's #3 and #4. But what's Southern Cal doing at #2? This is a major strength of schedule statement: SC is only 6-2, but all 8 games have been against good-to-excellent teams. They beat Colorado 40-3, so maybe they're pretty good. Playing Stanford this week will drag their rating down some.
The ACC Bowdens both decided that disappointing seasons were due to very good junior QB's, so both started redshirt freshmen this past Saturday. Both were rewarded with come-from-behind victories against teams they didn't used to worry about beating. The ACC is showing some depth, with Georgia Tech wrecking the Wuffpack's unbeaten season and Wake nearly burying the Noles. Big games this week with Florida State at Georgia Tech and NC State at Maryland. After a slow start, the Turtles may be the best team in the conference.
All four unbeatens play losable road games this week, but the computer's not going out
on any limbs with its predictions. I would personally take Syracuse with 20; the ratings
don't account for downward trends, injuries or emotions.
The following predictions are straight from the ratings, with 4 points added for the
Oklahoma over Texas A&M by 19
Miami over Tennessee by 8
Ohio State over Purdue by 13
Bowling Green over Northern Illinois by 5
Virginia Tech over Syracuse by 20
Penn State over Virginia by 9
Florida State over Georgia Tech by 5
Maryland over NC State by 5
Kansas State over Iowa State by 5
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